Let’s start with the numbers before we start with the post-mortem:
Gareth Snell (Lab) 7,853 (37.09%, -2.22%)
Paul Nuttall (UKIP) 5,233 (24.72%, +2.07%)
Jack Brereton (C) 5,154 (24.35%, +1.80%)
Zulfiqar Ali (LD) 2,083 (9.84%, +5.67%)
At the time of writing, I have not been able to find any mention of the postal votes count for Stoke. We do know however that the Stoke Council issued 6,400 postal ballots, as reported here.
While the papers predictably are full of praise for the Labour win, let’s jump in to the post-mortem with both feet.
A large number of members have been working their socks off in Stoke. Yesterday evening I was told that we had ‘300 activists on the ground’.
Labour’s campaign manager, a certain Jack Dromey, told The Mirror that Labour had 500 activists. So did we lose because we had fewer boots on the ground? Allow me to doubt it!
What we didn’t have, yet again, was fair dealings by the MSM. Sour grapes? Not at all.
While Paul Nuttall was indeed ‘hounded by the Press’ – not just after the results, as The Mirror so gleefully reports – but ever since the campaign officially started, nothing of the sort happened to the Labour candidate whose various tweets before and during the campaign (for example that Brexit was ‘sh*t’) were deemed to be of no import. One had to go to the alt-media to read about that.
Instead we heard day-in-day out about Hillsborough, and about Paul ‘lying’ about an event which happened nearly 30 years ago – because in the minds of our Metropolitan MSM, the run-down state of Stoke after decades of Labour MPs doesn’t matter at all. Social housing? Forget about it. Huge influx of muslim immigrants? No matter. Interference by imams telling their members to vote Labour or go to hell? Aww, who cares. Well, the Libdems did, and even complained to the police, as reported here, where you can also read the text of the leaflet. Did our metropolitan MSM report this? Of course not!
But there was more, far more. We remember the hounding of Paul Nuttall about his residence. That was national news, thanks to the investigative reporter Mr Michael Crick. Not reported in the national MSM were the attacks and attempted break-ins after Mr Crick so generously published the actual address.
What we also weren’t told – it’s only now being described in an article here – were reports of our shop in Stoke being vandalised repeatedly, of Police having to be called in again and again. There’s also this astonishing bit of information:
“Stoke-on-Trent North Labour MP Ruth Smeeth was once the secretary of HNH and remains a director of the group.”
‘HNH’ is that group called ‘Hope Not Hate’, a group with the sole aim to keep UKIP out. Let’s just, for a moment, imagine that former BNP members were known to have attacked and vandalised the office of the Labour candidate … would the national MSM have discreetly been silent? You know the answer!
Here then is our first conclusion in this post-mortem: We are not playing on a level playing field. The establishment and their MSM are doing their utmost to keep out UKIP and to destroy UKIP candidates personally any way they can. This goes from not having UKIP spokespeople on their politics shows unless they think they can show us up, to never mentioning, never mind debating, our policies. This happened in 2015 at the GE, and it is happening again and again. That will not change.
Add to this the organisations like HNH and UAF (“United Against Fascism”), who literally act like storm troopers. Add to this the tired lie (again used by the new Stoke MP) of us being racists. Add to this the way our candidates’ pasts are being scrutinised to an extent which even the squeaky-cleanest person, if they’ve actually had a life, could not withstand, with malevolent misinterpretation thrown in – and we are where we are.
But let’s be a bit self-critical here as well.
Yes, many members went and worked their socks off in Stoke and Copeland. Many others, especially many would-be supporters however preferred to sit this out, as comment posts on MSM articles (not on UKIP Daily) made clear. Their gist was that, well, let’s wait and see and if UKIP doesn’t win then that was it … we won’t renew our membership … UKIP is a busted flush …
Our infighting during the summer last year put many people off.
Our inability to actually formulate policies – or rather: the unwillingness of ‘those on top’ – to pick up ideas and proposals from members disillusioned many people.
Then there’s the huge elephant in the room: what actually are our policies? Where are they?
I do not mean some nice manifestos which get completely disregarded, as yesterday’s result showed yet again, just as in the GE results. I mean actual policies reflecting the points made by Nigel Farage in his speech at Conference, where he said:
“If UKIP is not a radical party it will be nothing. We must not become Mainstream.”
“We must be seen as the party against political correctness. We must be seen as the party that moves the debate on.”
We haven’t done that – and it looks as if we are too scared to actually do it.
Does yesterday’s result not show yet again that we will never win by trying to become ‘mainstream’, acceptable to the metro elites, the MSM, to the metro-establishment? Isn’t it obvious that we will never win by playing according to their rules?
This is not working! It hasn’t worked and will never work.
So let’s ditch the establishment’s play-book, including the play-book of our own Party’ establishment. Let’s become radical. Let’s stop trying to belly-ache about being Tory-lite or Labour-lite. Let’s address the issue which so many people up and down the country see as the most pressing one: immigration. Let’s remember that we’re for the people, not the mainstream, the establishment and their MSM!
If we’re too scared to do that, then, I’m afraid, UKIP really is a busted flush. Then, I’m afraid, we do not deserve to win.
So: courage! We really have nothing to lose!